Friday, May 20, 2011

Mommy's New Camera

The hubs, bless his heart, finally came through with a new camera as a mother's day / birthday gift for me! It took our taking really cool photos of some BMX bikers in action to prove to him that it was a necessary purchase. I am one happy momma and have been busy snapping away and reading up how to use my camera instead of crafting and blogging. Here's a few images so far!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Simple Skirts

Hello again.

So I like the blog MADE. Great tutorials. Including the one for the Simple Skirt! I figured it was simple enough that I could show my friend Amanda how to make it on her brand new sewing machine. So a few weeks ago we took her machine out of the box and whipped up a pair of matching skirts for Sweet Pea and Cinderella! It took us two days to finish them thanks to a pair of rowdy little brothers that needed to be supervised and a pitcher of margaritas that needed to be consumed on Cinco de Mayo but we got them done!

I really wish Amanda blogged too because after this she made the cutest tank top to go with the skirt with little star buttons and ribbons! I made both girls another version of the skirt too which is great for doing all sorts of things!  

Like Jump Rope 

and blowing bubbles

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sports Pillows

Yup, avoiding my blog like the plague. Bad blogger just hasn't been in the mood. Not sure why. I've been up to a few things though, like working on these cute sports pillows for Jojo's room. I was happy to be able to give new life to an old rugby sweatshirt and a really awesome Official USA RUGBY Jersey. The white baseballs were made with an old white t-shirt and a bit of red fabric paint. The little man loves them though!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

And I'm back

So good weather hit and I vanished from the blogging world. I just can't seem to make myself work on many projects or sit at the computer when I want to be outdoors soaking up the sun. We've been busy visiting the park, riding bikes, running, playing, etc. Crazy how life just gets in the way sometimes.

One of the highlights of the past few weeks for me was running in the GO! Saint Louis Marathon Relay. How it works is that a four member team each runs a six or seven mile leg to complete an entire marathon. The church we attend had four teams running. I ran the last leg when it was very hot and mostly uphill. I was happy with my time and was amazed by all the people out there running.

Another bit of excitement around here is that we have our garden planted. It's just a little bitty raised bed and a few post but it's still super fun for the kids. Our peas and beans have sprouted and are looking great!

And today we are wishing the husband a very happy birthday. And yes, JOjo is wearing a tie on a Tuesday. He likes to dress like daddy, bless his little heart.

And I have been doing a few crafty things. Jojo got a new BIG bed last week so I've been working on a few things for his room including some pillows and lamp. The hubs and I are off to the STL Cardinals game tonight so those will have to wait till tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wall Pockets & Organization

True confession of the day. I am not an organized person. I'd like to think that I am but I'm not. Honestly it drives me crazy and I try and try again to be more organized but it never quite comes together. This week, it a fit of frustration, I'm at it again. I could NO LONG STAND what was happening in my laundry room. It's a big laundry room but the space is sort of wasted. What does one put in a laundry room?? I have a washer and dryer and on the opposite wall is a double closet, and a pantry type closet and on the third wall is the door to the garage, oh and there is also a door to the kitchen!

I really should have taken a photo of what was going on in there but it was pretty sad. I added this table that had become the dumping ground. Mail, keys, craft stuff, a half eaten hot dog, random snacks, bubbles, tools, a jump rope. The kids had no good place to put their bags & coats. I tried to get them in the closet but it just wasn't happening. So on Monday, I snapped. I banished the table to the basement and brought in a shoe rack and a pack of command hooks (I need to do a post on my love affair with command hooks!) I created these awesome fabric wall pockets and a new chore chart. Now, who wants to guess how long this attempt at organization will last!?!?

 I made the chart from the metal sheet of a dry erase board we had that had lost it's frame. I covered the edges with strip of fabric from an old bed sheet that I hot glued on. It's stuck to the door with command strips.  The chores, etc are written on with a marker so I can change them as needed and the kids mark their completed chores with a magnets made from craft foam. 

These super cool wall pockets were made from a tutorial found over at Thrive. I LOVE that they are made from corrugated plastic and an old bed sheet. You can use cardboard too but I have tons of corrugated plastic on hand. Please don't look to closely at these since my fabric got glued on a bit crooked. It was a hazard of attempting to craft and supervise a toddler at the same time. I'm hoping that these small things help get life back in order around here just a bit!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Charlotte Shirt

So it's Monday and I think the germs have finally left the house!! Finally it was a long week that ended with a chest x-ray and a double infection for Sweet Pea. We managed to perk up this weekend and get out of the house as a family. AND both kids were off to school today!! Sweet Pea headed back to preschool and Jojo had his first day at his preschool. His school is the coolest thing, it's at the local high school as is taught by students taking child development courses. He goes three days a week for six weeks. Such a fun places for him to start school. Sweet Pea went there too!

Having kids down for the count last week gave me a bit of time to sew and to do some crafts with them. The only problem was that I had to work with what I had on hand! I hauled out another chunk of the red floral I scored at goodwill that I used for this apron and this skirt. This time I whipped up a cute little swing style top for spring using the Charlotte Dress Pattern from Mama Stellato. I just left off the sash and shortened the length. I hope to pick up some white capri pants to go with it.

And no, there is no photo of my model wearing this top because this is what she looked like a good part of last week. Gorgeous, but one sick little girl. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bunny Pouches

So we are still sick around here. Poor Sweet Pea has had a fever since Sunday night. The pediatrician thinks it's influenza. YUCK. And now Jojo seems to have a fever too. Both of them were up during the night last night a couple of times which is never fun, especially when Jojo shows up at the side of the bed with a bloody nose saying "I need a keenex". There is something terrifying about your toddler's face covered in blood in the middle of the night. You'd think I'd be used to it my now since it's been going on since before he could walk, but no. So since we have been stuck at home this week, I've been trying to squeeze out a few projects like this one. 

I follow several (WAY TO MANY) blogs on facebook. And this super cute idea popped up on my news feed this week. Sew Homegrown made some really cute bunny pencil pouches that were inspired by these cute bunnies from West Elm. Both of these versions are made out of knit material, I did have a few old sweaters floating around, but I decided to use the sleeves from the fleece from this refashion instead. With some creative cutting, I had just enough to squeeze out two bunny pouches to tuck into my kids' Easter baskets!!  Now that I know how to put these together I'm thinking of making a few other animals, or monsters! Just something cute to add to birthday presents and such!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sweet Pea turns Five

SO I had hoped to be back in full force this week but now I'm busy trying to catch up after being sick and the great and wonderful Sweet Pea has been diagnosed with influenza. :( No fun around here. I'm just waiting for Jojo to be sick too.

We did manage to squeeze in a quick birthday party for Sweet Pea over the weekend. I really was trying to avoid a party (worn out mom) but we made it happen. Nothing to fancy this year. I did manage to squeeze out a set of these Birthday Crowns which were fun for the kids to take home.

For a quick craft, I printed the build your own cupcake pieces from Volume 25.

 We also had fun with the "stick the giant cherry on the cupcake game."  I just cut the left over felt from the crowns into a cupcake shape and had the kids stick on felt cherries.

 The birthday girl had a great time so I guess it was a success!!! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Freight Train - A Read Along with Helping Little Hands

Quite some time ago, Polly from Helping Little Hands asked if I would be interested in participating in her March Read Along.

Several bloggers are reading a children's book with their kids and then posting about a craft or activity to go along with each book. Now, I'll have to admit, I am not the best at reading to my kids. I used be great at it and Sweet Pea would sit for hours listening to story after story, then Jojo came along. His window for stories is about 5 minutes and then it must be the book of his choice and he must get to turn the pages and hold the book, etc. So, it light of that we picked Jojo's favorite book for the read along, Freight Train by Donald Crews. My mom sent him huge board book version for Valentine's Day (it's a tradition that my mom sends all of her kids and grandkids books on Valentine's Day). Freight Train is about a train on a track and it's different colored cars. It moves, through tunnels, across bridges, in light in dark and the it's gone.

For our activity I cut out the pieces of the train for each of my kids out of construction paper. I used the colors of the cars in the book for the colors of each of the cars and did my best to match the shapes. The kids then decorated their train cars and attempted to reassemble their trains in the same color order the trains are in the book. The kids spent some time driving their paper trains across the hardwood floors until we found a spot to hang them and we decorated some more. It was a great learning activity, especially for 2 1/2 year old Jojo to work on color recognition. 

He mostly wanted to mess with his glue stick the entire time!

After doing this, I thought of a few other activities that would work for this book that I thought I'd share. 

- cut the pieces of train smaller and have kids glue them to another sheet of paper in the correct order
- paint match boxes, spools or other small items to make a train
- use a toy train and make it go fast, make it go in the dark, make it go in the light, make it go through a tunnel, etc. 

Please head over to Helping Little Hands and check out all of the other fabulous ideas that have been posted this month! 

A Return to the Land of Living

Yes, I am still here but it feels like barely. I managed to survive my week of traveling. Nothing like driving across the state of Iowa diagonally!!!! We had a lovely time despite getting minimal sleep. However, I managed to bring back a nasty fever and a head full of snot which has kept me down for the past few days. We also are hosting my husband's niece and boyfriend from WI this week AND it was Sweet Pea's 5th birthday on Monday. So yeah, sick and busy. Here's a few photos to tide us over.

Sweet Pea and Jojo with their Great Grandma Edith. She's 92!

My mom and my sister and myself with our Grandma! Amazing that all of us own a sewing machine!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Brides and Babies

Well, I am here to announce that I am headed out for the rest of the week. I may pop in a with a cool photo or two but hopefully not. I will be busy discussing brides and babies. I am spending the week with my parents and sisters. Two sisters will be brides this summer and one is pregnant. Fun times I'm sure. The trip involves over 20 hours in the car over six days and is sure to be an adventure since Sweet Pea and Jojo are coming along!! Until next week, I leave you with these pants I made for baby LT. (That's what I'm calling my new niece or nephew for now). One pair is recycled from an old pullover and the other was intended to be a shower curtain!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sewing for Photos - Reflections by Christine Photography

I know I posted in the past how I have been a member of a local playgroup through for almost four years now. It was such a blessing to me when we moved here and I have made some of my best friends through the group. One of the cool things about our group is that we are always welcoming new members. Another cool thing is that we have a message board where we can ask others for help with just about anything from "help me with potty training" to "does anyone know how to sew?" A while back I answered "yes" to the sewing question and met Christine who is new to our group and also works as a photographer. She recently relocated to our area from Nebraska and is working on setting up a studio in her new house. As part of her studio she purchased several cuts of fabric to use as backdrops and needed help with hemming the edges so they can be washed in the future without fraying.

So, here's a few of the cuts of fabric I tackled.

Now, I'm pretty excited because in exchange for my hemming up Christine's fabrics, she has offered to take some photos of Sweet Pea & Jojo in her new studio! Sweet Pea turns five next Monday and I'm really excited to have some images of her captured at this age.

Also, if you are in either the Saint Louis, MO area or the Omaha, NE area, feel free to contact Christine. She has a few spots left for her model mini sessions next weekend!  If that time doesn't work for you, Christine can also be reached at her blog at Reflections by Christine Photography or on Facebook.  I also know from following Christine on facebook that she has super really really cute hats and headbands and tutus to use for photos of little people, go take a look!

Hopefully in a few weeks I can share some super cool images of my kids. So, those of you sewing or painting, or doing other crafts. Can you use your skills in trade??

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Embellished 5 - Fleece Pullover Refashion

So the Embellished Five is back at it again this month. The idea is that five bloggers will start with the same item. We will each embellish it however we like and post about it on the same day. For the first round, Stefi sent each of us a pink t-shirt. You know the, basic one you can pick up at JoAnne Fabric or Michael's Craft Store. Here's my T-shirt post. This month we were each sent a cream colored fleece pull over from Old Navy.

I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to do with this one and have been staring at it and moving it around my house. I finally decided to transform it into something I actually need this time a year, a vest. The weather is just starting to turn spring like here in Missouri but I like to have something to throw on in the mornings! This is what I came up with.



Nothing to major but it will work for me and it was my first time installing a zipper in a jacket!!

Be sure to check out the rest of the "Embellished Five" to see what they came up with! And look for more. We have three more rounds to go!

Stefi at Just Chic
Larissa at Just Another Day in Paradise
Amy at Positively Splendid
Jennifer at Two Butterflies

Friday, March 11, 2011

Curtains to Apron

Remember yesterday's curtains that became a skirt for Sweet Pea?? Well they also became part of this cute ruffled apron. I'd show it to you on a real person but somehow it makes my belly look HUGE and I'm still in my sweaty gym clothes from this morning. I think it will be super cute on my sister or one of her friends who may win it as a prize at her bridal shower next week!



This one I put together with out a pattern. IN retrospect, I wish I had made the bottom layer of printed fabric wider and gathered instead of flat. I am happy with how the waistband and apron ties cover up the original stitching of the curtain casing though.

Hope you all come back tomorrow! It's the second installment of the Embellished 5!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Curtains to Skirt

Sorry I have been a bit absent. It's been a busy week around here. Sweet Pea had her evaluation for kindergarten which she passed with flying colors. I had to laugh that she got a special mention for her scissors skills. Someone spends lots of time on her craft projects!! This morning we had a speech pathologist at the house for Jojo's evaluation to get some services through the state. I got the same "your kid needs services but he doesn't qualify" answer I was expecting. Now to figure out what to do. So that's life.


On to crafts. In order to save a few pennies on sewing projects I have been on the hunt for alternate fabric sources. This past week I grabbed this pair of red valance curtains from the $1 section of my thrift store. They have become a couple of things but the most fun so far is this cute skirt for Sweet Pea. I added a strip of fabric to the bottom and put a piece of elastic through the top casing and sewed it up the back. The waist is a little wonky but still pretty fun for summer!